Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Exciting news! The UK William Morris Tours are on again!!

I have just arrived home from stitching with friends to an email from Helen of Whitecroft Tours to tell me the William Morris tours are on again! It is so very exciting and I know for so many of you that is good news as you may have missed out as previous tours have sold out so quickly! Helen has tentative dates for next year, 23rd September - 3rd October 2018. I will not be there in person but I will most definitely be there with you in spirit every step of the way! And what a place to be staying for 10 nights......the Randolph Hotel in Oxford.....
Larry would have loved to stay there as he has been such a huge fan of Inspector Morse who would frequent there regularly! Oxford is the perfect place to stay before and after a tour as well as it is easy to get to London and there is so much to do locally with the benefit of fabulous amenities. The Randolph is also opposite the Ashmolean Museum and there is so much more just a short stroll away.......


and just around the corner is the Oxford Union.....
Of course the tour focus is all things William Morris and there are so many very special places you will visit, so in my haste tonight I have found a few....of course Kelmscott Manor is high on the list..........


 and now visitors can even take photos inside..........especially of that famous bed cover on William's bed..........


Wightwick Manor is a must and once again photos are now allowed inside.........







 But the entire tour is also full of everything quintessentially English countryside....sigh.....the Cotswolds - you just can't beat them!.....


 Then there is Red House..........
 The V&A Museum.........



 I could go on with so much more but I really need to rest my weary head as it is way past midnight! So if you are at all interested please contact Helen as soon as possible as I know the tour will sell out quickly.......I will be dreaming about it all tonight! Contact Helen Bertram via the 'contact us link' or email: enquiries@whitecrofttours.co.uk

Friday, 13 October 2017

Smelling the Roses

I know, I know.....jolly roses on the blog again but since I've been gone they have all suddenly bloomed!! There was a hot spell while I was away that surely encouraged the roses but it has been chilly again and even raining this morning. But the William Morris Rose is full of buds and blooms......
 The fuchsias are prolific.........
 and the new ornamental pears look happy apart from one little visitor I promptly removed from the tree trunk.......
 The front garden is once again full of colour and perfume so it has indeed been a time to stop and smell the roses.......
 Lovely to see raindrops still on the blooms this morning and I do hope that little beetle was feasting on aphids.......

 and the sweet peas smell divine.......
 It was very late when I arrived home on Wednesday night and by the time I unpacked and my head hit the pillow it was 3am Christchurch time. But two good nights' sleep in one's own bed is always welcome, so now it is back to the sewing. While I was in New Zealand at the Craft & Quilt Fairs a few weeks before I came across a new thread for my appliqué - this time an 80 weight Aurifil cotton and I adore it. Being cotton is a bonus and it so deliciously fine and strong that in some places I machine appliquéd the stems and leaves twice as it is almost invisible! You really have to run your finger along the edge if the thread matches the fabric to feel that it has actually been stitched..........
It comes on a little wooden spool and is made in Italy.........



 Because I've been appliquéing for over 20 years I seem to have built up a bit of a thread stash (!!) particularly rayons that I've been using for my William Morris appliqué. The top two shelves of the storage unit are full of threads (and are a little untidy!), but it is very handy........

 This is a Robison Anton rayon thread that I've used for years......
 and some more cotton to try   - Wonderfil's 50wt cotton Konfetti.........
 Another 'top of the list' thread is good old Madeira Rayon with 100's of delicious colours on their colour chart. I have just a few........
 So with my favourite Superior Topstitch #70/10 needle inserted I am ready to go........
 Tomorrow we have two little people coming for a sleep-over at Nanna and Poppa's so I had better get some appliqué done tonight......all for the new Morris book! My dear friend Faye has just phoned to tell me she's been piecing hundreds of tiny 4inch blocks for the book too......what a gem! So for now I will share this wonderful gift that we received at Symposium........meant to be toe separators for painting one's nails but how much better is this??!! And they fit my larger Bernina bobbins too.....so off to sew I go......
Oops......I nearly forgot to share the exciting news.....the William Morris in Adelaide tours for next year are sold out so an extra tour has been arranged for November.......
 And one last picture taken the night before I left for New Zealand last week. I must remember that if one wears a matching top to the seat one is sitting on, it makes one look like they have lost a load of weight....how fab!